GET INVOLVED AS THE SECRET TRIALS CASES HEAD TOWARDS THE SUPREME COURT!
This June, the Supreme Court of Canada will hold three days of hearings related to the CSIS secret trial security certificates. The cases of Adil Charkaoui, Hassan Almrei, and Mohamed Harkat will be heard June 13-15 in Ottawa, and many activities are planned both around that week and leading up to June to keep the focus on the gross human rights violations that arise from this process (see bottom of this email for list of activities and what you can do.)
The fact that the Supreme Court is hearing these cases, while significant, does not mean that our struggle for basic human rights being applied equally for ALL people in Canada is over. Far from it. Indeed, the larger issues of CSIS and RCMP intimidation of vulnerable communities, secret evidence, arbitrary detention without charge, and deportation to torture do not only affect the Secret Trial Five, but are systemic problems which are increasingly directed against refugee and immigrant communities.
And while the Court makes its determinations on various parts of the secret trial process, the men currently detained (Mohammad Mahjoub, Mahmoud Jaballah, Hassan Almrei, Mohamed Harkat) are likely to spend much additional time behind bars at the new "Guantanamo Bay North" facility recently constructed at Millhaven federal penitentiary, and Adil Charkaoui, though on bail, will continue to face the daily humiliation of downright draconian "release" conditions, including the wearing of an electronic tracking bracelet.
The Supreme Court is composed of nine people who will make rulings on various parts of the secret trial process. Ultimately, though, it is up to all of us in Canada to look at our own conscience and ask ourselves what WE are willing to do to end this human rights nightmare.
Please get involved either in the activities listed below or, if you cannot make it to the Montreal/Ottawa/Toronto area, plan something where you live for June.
(Upcoming events include a People's Commission on Immigration Security Measures, A Freedom Caravan to Ottawa, a nationwide banner making project, and a week of vigils in Ottawa....)
1. LOBBY CAMPAIGN: Challenge your MP (20 March to 22 May 2006) From the end of March until the third week in May, you are invited to challenge your MP to take a position on security certificates. Are they willing to take a stand? To get a kit that you can bring or mail to your MP, contact email@example.com and or visit the special page at www.adilinfo.org to download the kit. The essential part is a follow up by phone or a visit.
2. PEOPLE'S COMMISSION on Immigration
Security Measures, March through May 2006
*Public Consultations across the country through March and April (see www.peoplescommission.ath.cx for details)
*10 April Deadline to apply to speak at Public Hearings (find out how via our website)
*Public Hearings, 21 to 23 April, Montreal
*23 April Deadline to make written or recorded submissions to the Commission (find out how via our website)
*end May Preliminary Report of the People's Commission
More info: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel 514 859 9023, www.peoplescommission.ath.cx
3. FREEDOM CARAVAN TO OTTAWA (June
From June 3-10, friends and family of the secret trial detainees invite you to join a community on wheels as we travel through each community between Toronto and Ottawa, organizing public processions and vigils, handing out flyers, engaging in dialogue, meeting MPs, and blanketing the area with information about the abuses of secret trials. Meals and overnight accommodation will be provided. To book a ride on the freedom caravan or offer a vehicle for use, please contact (416) 651-5800 or email@example.com In addition, a Montreal to Ottawa Caravan is also in the works.
4. CAMP HOPE (June
Upon our arrival in Ottawa, we will set up camp at the Supreme Court of Canada, holding day-long vigils, sending delegations to appropriate government agencies, and being a constant national reminder of the shame of secret trials. Overnight accommodation will be provided. The end of the week will feature a large, nonviolent direct action at the national conspiracy headquarters of CSIS.
5. SUPREME COURT BANNER
Whether you can come to Ottawa or not, we wish to blanket the huge lawn of the Court with banners from across the country expressing regional rejection of secret trials. If you have a school/ church/ labour/ community group, we would love for you to grab an old bed sheet, paint out "Red Deer Against Secret Trials: Free the Detainees!" or "St. John's United Church, Moncton, NB, Says Stop Deportations to Torture," etc., and send us the banner for display (you can send completed and folded banners to Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada, PO Box 73620, 509 St Clair Ave. West, Toronto, ON M6C 1C0. If you have ideas you want to run by us, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (416) 651-5800.
6. SECRET TRIALS
While in Ottawa, we wish to present to the federal government thousands of statements signed by people across the country expressing rejection of secret trials and calling for due process. Please download the statement at http://www.homesnotbombs.ca/STATEMENT.pdf, make copies, have folks sign it, and return completed copies to PO Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto, ON M6C 1C0
7. LOCAL VIGILS IN
Tuesday, June 13 is the first day of the hearings. If you cannot come to Ottawa, why not organize a vigil of support in front of a local immigration office, CSIS/RCMP detachment, federal government building, or MP's office? Stuck for ideas or need help with a flyer, just let us know! If you DO plan such a vigil, also let us know, and we will inform the national media of what you are up to.
8. FINANCIAL HELP
Of course, any undertaking such as this requires a lot of expenses, especially for the thousands of educational flyers we will be producing, the costs of bringing witnesses to Montreal for the commission, the logistics of the week in Ottawa, etc. Please make cheques out to Homes not Bombs and mail them to PO Box 73620, 509 St Clair Ave. West, Toronto, ON M6C 1C0. Please earmark where you would like your donation to go towards (ie, People's Commission, Freedom Caravan, General Campaign expenses, etc.).
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